C2OS, A New Cryptographic Operating System for Smart Cards

Document Type : Original Article


Egyptian Armed Forces.


Smart card is a miniature computer with very limited hardware and software resources. Like any computer, an operating system is needed to manage the card hardware and software resources. Several smart card operating systems of different
types were developed for this purpose. The basic functions of these operating systems are: handling the card input/out process, managing the file system, managing communication with card users/ application programs and data exchange with the cryptographic algorithms embedded in the card, if any. The user/application is allowed to interact with cryptographic algorithms with their default parameters and with no possibility of cryptographic parameters customization. This paper aims to make the smart card smarter by presenting a new type of smart card operating system that covers a new area of commands. The new set of cryptographic commands enables the applications/developer to deeply access the cryptographic primitives and customize their building blocks at run time. In order to test the new command set and demonstrate its features, the new operating system has been developed in embedded C language and implemented on an open platform card.